Celebrate the New Moon

A new moon in a purple sky, with weeping willow branches. The Netherlands
Mint Images - Frans Lanting / Getty Images

In early societies, the reappearance of the moon was often a cause for celebration — after all, it meant that the dark had passed, and the full moon was on its way back. The following rite is one which welcomes the moon back at the beginning of her cycle. If you're raising children in a Pagan or Wiccan tradition, this can be a lot of fun. It's also a simple ritual that can be performed by a solitary practitioner.

Did You Know?

  • In many magical belief systems, the new moon phase is associated with cleansing and purification, as well as spiritual growth and intuition.
  • This ritual is simple enough to perform with children, a group of adults, or by a solitary practitioner.
  • Now that the dark has passed, do this rite to welcome the moon back at the beginning of her cycle.

Preparing for Ritual

The new moon is sometimes tricky to work with because you can't always see it during this phase — it will appear as a very faint crescent of silver low on the horizon if you can see it at all. For approximately three days during each lunar cycle, after the moon has waned, it goes dark before waxing again. In many magical traditions, this is considered a fallow time, in which one rests and rejuvenates before beginning more intense magical workings again.

First, if your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so at this time. If you don't normally cast a circle, take the time to ritually purify the area by smudging or asperging. This will establish the space as sacred.

Perform this ceremony outside if at all possible — it's the best way to get a good look at the sliver of new moon. You'll need a moon candle, wrapped in a black cloth, to place on your altar. This is traditionally a white or silver unscented pillar-style candle. You'll also need a hand-held mirror. Tie some silver and white ribbons on it if you wish. Finally, have a small bowl of Blessing Oil handy.

Celebrating the Moon's Magic

Silhouette Man Standing Against Sky At Night
Omri Parchi / EyeEm / Getty Images

Hold this ceremony at sunset if you can. Turn to the west, and watch as the sun goes down (without looking directly at it). Once the sun has dropped below the horizon, you'll be able to see where the new moon is rising — and the location is going to vary from month to month, depending on the time of year and where you live. If the sun sets before you began, you'll need to look a bit higher in the sky, but you should still be able to find it as long as the night is a clear one.

If you're doing this rite with children, have them each try to be the first one to spot the new moon.

Once you see the moon in the sky, unwrap the candle. Hold it up high and say:

Welcome back, Moon!
We're glad to see you again.
Another cycle has passed
another month gone by
and our lives have moved forward.

Place the candle on the altar and light it, still facing the moon. Say:

Today is a new day,
and a new month begins.
As the tides flow, and the moon rises above,
we are thankful that She has returned.
She watches over us, ever constant,
yet always changing,
and we are thankful for her light.

If you have children present, have them wave to the moon and thank her for returning -- you'd be amazed how silly and fun this simple task can become!

Next, turn to face east, where the sun will rise in the morning. Pick up the mirror and hold it so you can see the new moon behind you. Say:

Bring us your wisdom, your guidance,
your protection, in the coming month.
You are behind me at every step,
watching and guiding me,
and I am thankful.

Place the mirror back on the altar, beside the moon candle. Take a moment to reflect on your goals. After all, this is a time of new beginnings and a good time for new commitments and vows.

Warm the Blessing Oil over the candle for just a moment, and then anoint each others' foreheads. As you do so, say:

May the blessings of the moon be with you.

If you are working alone, anoint your own forehead, and grant yourself the blessings of the moon.

When you are ready, close the circle and end the ritual. If you choose, you can move into healing rites or magical workings, or a Cakes & Ale ceremony.


  • Decorate your altar with silvers and whites to celebrate the return of the moon
  • If you're doing this rite as a family, the eldest female relative present should light the moon candle.
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Your Citation
Wigington, Patti. "Celebrate the New Moon." Learn Religions, Aug. 29, 2020, learnreligions.com/celebrate-the-new-moon-2562866. Wigington, Patti. (2020, August 29). Celebrate the New Moon. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/celebrate-the-new-moon-2562866 Wigington, Patti. "Celebrate the New Moon." Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/celebrate-the-new-moon-2562866 (accessed March 22, 2023).